China Media Research, Vol. 3, No. 3

  Issue Vol. 3, No. 3 / October 2007

Strategic Transformations in Power and the Nature of International Communication Theory
Author(s): James W. Chesebro, Jung Kyu Kim, and Donggeol Lee
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This essay explores the proposition that a massive transformation in strategic power is underway in the world. This transformation is likely to affect the nature and direction of cross-cultural and international communication theory. This essay proceeds in five parts. In part one, multiculturalism is identified as an emerging philosophy and controlling vision for the discipline of communication, a perspective that opens the discipline to new interpretations of the nature and value orientation of intercultural communication theory. In part two, a survey of literature is provided, suggesting that intercultural communication theory has been culture-bound in ways that deny the uniqueness and significance of Asian communication. Part three suggests that the discipline of communication has consistently patterned its definition of communicative effectiveness after the models of communication used by dominant nation-states. Part four traces the emergence of China as an increasing dominant nation-state which should - if the historical pattern of the discipline of communication continues - increasingly identify China as a source or model for international communicative effectiveness. Using North Korea's nuclear testing \"crisis\" as a case study, part five suggests how the international communication strategies of the United States and China differ remarkably in process and outcome. In all, insofar as China continues to emerge as a dominant force in international relations, it is expected that the basic nature of communication strategies in the world will also undergo a transformation.
A Model of Cancer-Related Health Information Seeking on the Internet
Author(s): Hairong Feng and Yongquan Yang
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This study examines factors influencing cancer-related heath information seeking on the Internet. Knowing influences on health information seeking on the Internet can help health care and public health professionals understand how people find information sources through computer network and hence enhance their working efficiency. A model of cancer-related health information seeking was proposed. A total response of 5480 participants from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) was used for this analysis. Individuals' media exposure and the credibility of the online health information were found to predict the Internet use. And utility significantly mediated the effect of other predictors on the Internet use. The overall model fit was acceptable.
For the Good of Public Health or for Political Propaganda: People's Daily's Coverage of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Epidemic
Author(s): Xiao Wang
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Previous research on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic (SARS) in China or other parts of the world has documented how governments and the media handled the epidemic in terms of political and social efforts. Such studies largely ignored that SARS, in the first place, is a public health issue and that the mass media can be utilized to disseminate information for public health. Taking on this perspective, the current study examined how the People's Daily, the most circulated newspaper in China, reported SARS. This study used the constructed week sampling method and the content analyzed 297 news stories appeared in the People's Daily from April to July 2003. Results showed that the number of news stories, frames, and content categories changed over time, and indicated that medical frames and prevention were the focus of early media coverage and social or political themes were more common in the later stage.
The Narrative Function of News: A Comparative Study of Media Representation and Audience Interpretation of China-U.S. Trade Relationship
Author(s): Jing Yin
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This study combines the analysis of media texts and audience interpretations to explore the extent to which the media narratives constrain audience interpretations and the extent to which audience members can resist the preferred meanings presented by the media. Specially, it examines how People's Daily and the New York Times frame China-U.S. trade relations in the news discourse, and how audience members in China and United States interpret the issue of trade in these two countries. This study suggests that media texts serve as mate-narratives for audience interpretations. Even when audience members are able to resist the ideology conveyed by one type of media, they rely on the dominant meanings of another.
Russian Crisis Communication: Interaction Between Federal Televisions and President Putin in the Beslan's Hostage Crisis
Author(s): Fengyung Hu
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On September 1, 2004 at a southern Russian school in Beslan, which is located near Chechnya where the rebel-insurgents are actively appearing, a hostage-held tragedy suddenly occurred. Thousands of school-children, parents and teachers were captured by gunmen for three days without being allowed eating food and drinking water. In the process of Beslan's hostage crisis, the three biggest Russian federal televisions and central government's crisis handling techniques spurred disputes around their intentionally hiding the truth of how the rescue action was planned and implemented. It's worth to mention that Russian Media Union on that day formally announced an urgent statement, emphasizing obeying an \"anti-terrorism agreement\" signed two years ago, and reaffirming that \"in case of any extremity, saving and protecting people's lives prior to any kind of other civil rights. Freedom of words will be regarded as the most important news principle\". From that statement, we can assume to say that the logic is: the freedom of words is only part of civil rights, but saving and protecting people's lives prior to it. Obviously, media self-censorship here is the first measure that would be taken into consideration in the crisis. In the circle of news manipulating process, then the government might release some instructive information to influence the reporting direction of media and tune up the coverage principle without any authoritarian force. Finally, Putin's public address in television after the Russian special military force's shooting action was shaping him as a savor, stabilizing and conciliating people's emotion. In this paper Putin's rhetoric skill would be analyzed as well in order to see the whole manipulating circle in the news running system. We found out that after Mr. Putin took his position in the Russian presidency, the Russian politics from that moment formally entered the Putin's ruling era. One of the most obvious characteristics of relationship between Putin and television is that Putin's image of television is a hero of crisis-handling and crisis coverage should not be critical to the government but focus on the rescue of the government in any extreme situation. In this paper the Russian media coverage running process in the Beslan crisis case is represented and analyzed.
\"Disempowering Agency?\" Ideological Criticism of the Advisory Rhetoric on Teaching English in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan
Author(s): Yea-Wen Chen
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The Bulletin Board System (BBS) is a popular computer application through which people interact in China. For them, and especially for the young segments of the society, the BBS is both a novel channel to get information and a revolutionary way to express their opinions. This study applies the uses and gratifications approach (U&G) to investigate Chinese youth's uses of the BBS and their gratifications derived from it. Based on the results of a web-based survey, the study examined what motivates Chinese youth to use the BBS, how they use the BBS, and what gratifications they obtain from the BBS. The researcher found that there is a strong relationship between users' motivations for BBS use and their gratifications obtained from it; in the meantime, users' motivations and gratifications levels both influence users' dependency degree on the BBS.
An Examination of the Factors Influencing Ethnic Identification and Acculturation of Chinese Diasporas in Australia
Author(s): Shuang Liu & Eric Louw
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This study investigated the relationships among print media exposure, ethnic identification, intergroup contact and acculturation orientations of Chinese immigrants. Data were gathered from a survey to 265 Chinese immigrants currently residing in Australia. Findings indicated that exposure to the print media in general did not have a significant effect on ethnic identification; and the strength of identification did not seem to be related to assimilation or integration. However, exposure to ethnic newspapers was negatively related to assimilation but positively related to separation. In addition, intergroup contact positively contributed to both assimilation and integration. These findings suggested the need for us to further examine the role of print media in the age of greater user control provided by the internet technology as well as to further explore the complexities of ethnic identity and ethnic identification in various contexts. Findings from this study also suggested some policy considerations for the media industry and government regarding promoting multiculturalism.
Communicating Africa: Enabling Centricity for Intercultural Engagement
Author(s): Molefi Kete Asante
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The enslavement of millions of Africans disrupted the mythic realities of Africans and introduced into the African experience a fractured narrative. In fact, the enslavement of Africans meant that Europeans also colonized information about African realities. But the impact of the massive enslavement of African people did not only disrupt and corrupt African beliefs and discourses; it deeply affected the contours of discussion and the private conversations of other people. In fact, one can say that the distortions of African realities are at the core of modern discourses about the African continent to the degree that many individuals retain, after so many years of Afrocentric correctives, grotesque views of Africans and Africa. This article locates African communicative aspirations as intercultural and international communicators by demonstrating the necessity to recast Africans as agents and selfactualizers within the scope of African historical experiences. Several strategies for accomplishing this transformation are presented.
Media Landscape in China in the Age of Globalization (2000-2005)
Author(s): Yonghua ZHANG
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In the age of Globalization, information flow, like capital flow and commodity flow, takes place increasingly at the global level. Global communication, though certainly with its problems, has become an increasingly prominent phenomenon in the world today. This constitutes the broad, international environment in which current media development in China takes place. This paper assumes that the broad, international environment makes itself felt in ways that the media industry performs and develops in the People's Republic of China. Obtaining related information and data from various online and print sources and through reviewing in-depth interviews with media professionals conducted by the writer at the turn of the century, the writer studies the current landscape of media development in our country in connection with the broad international context of globalization. The paper finds that globalization has, along with other factors, most noticeably the deepening of the reform and opening drive, the development of the country's socialist market economy, and its entry into WTO, exerted profound influence on the country's media development. The paper addresses a few aspects of media development in the country, focusing mainly on the past five or six years. In discussing development in international communication and international cooperation as one aspect of media development, the paper explores the case in Shanghai in particular as Shanghai is a large cosmopolitan and the largest city in China and therefore serves as a good example in this aspect. Furthermore, the paper analyzes the problems that still exist in the development of the media industry in the country.
Media (Literacy) Education in the United States
Author(s): Guo-Ming Chen
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This paper attempts to examine what media education is and how it functions in the United States from five perspectives: introduction, a brief history, conceptual issues, application issues, and future challenges. The introduction lays down the reasons why the United States is far behind other English speaking nations in media education. The second section examines the history of media education in the United States from three stages: inoculation phase, facing-it phase, and transitional phase. The third and fourth sections analyze the media education from conceptual and application levels. Finally in the fifth section, future challenges facing the centralization and expansion of media education, from movement to educational intervention, and the impact of new technology are discussed. It concludes that a continuous reform is needed for the media education in the United States to reach a more satisfactory level.
The United Nations Spokesman and Scandal
Author(s): Frederic Eckhard
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Former Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Fred Eckhard, was surprised to see his former White House counterpart Ari Fleischer testify at the \"Scooter\" Libby trial that he didn't always know what was going on. This leads Eckhard to ruminate about his seventeen years in the UN press office: what it takes to be an informed spokesman, how the UN spokesman's office worked--or didn't--and how the Oil for Food scandal changed his professional life.
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